Holiday Parties with a Healthy Twist
By Dana Yarn, RDLD
I cannot believe that this year is almost over, and we are in full swing of the holidays! I was looking over my calendar and saw a few holiday parties coming up. Some of my clients get very anxious at the thought of having food and drink temptations unwind all of their hard work at weight loss efforts during the holiday season. You can have it all you just need to make wise choices. I wanted to give you some quick tips on how to "party with a healthy twist." Some of these tips you may have heard before but it's always good to have a little refresher.
Stay regular with your exercise regimen. Try to get in at least 30 minutes a day alternating between strength training, cardiovascular activity and some sort of flexibility discipline like Pilates and/or yoga. Exercise releases serotonin naturally which will help reduce stress and sugar and carbohydrate cravings. This is important to many of us who can become overwhelmed with stress during the holiday season.
Continue to take all of your supplements; you need them now more than ever. Core supplements should include a high quality multi-vitamin, omega 3 fish oil, vitamin D-3, Calcium & Magnesium and a probiotic. Consider taking chromium before you head to a party, this will help offset the carbohydrate cravings by helping insulin "do its job" increasing the body's ability to burn fat rather than store it.
Focus on protein, fat and vegetables. Load your plate with protein (turkey, ham, roast, etc.), and non-starchy vegetables like greens beans, greens, carrots, broccoli, etc. and leave only a 1/4 of your plate for the starchy vegetables like potatoes, or other starches like bread or stuffing. This will bring the overall calories down for the meal and maintain steady blood sugars.
Share dessert or get small portions of what is offered. It is easy to overeat all of the seasonal treats, take small portions to taste and try not to binge.
Go for the low sugar cocktails or alcoholic beverages and alternate them with a glass of water is possible. Wine and light beer is lower in calories compared to some of the sugar holiday mixed drinks. If you do drink mixers go for a low or no calorie mixer like sparkling water, fresh lime juice, or a stevia based non-calorie soda.
Enjoying parties is a pleasure of life. Making permanent healthy lifestyle choices at the same time can make your quality of life better for the long term. There you can have your cake and eat it too.
Enjoy your parties and quality time with family. Happy Holidays!
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